Monday, September 19th, 2016


By Hook or By Crook

Following bomb explosions in NYC and New Jersey, officials tracked down and arrested Ahmad Khan Rahami after a shootout. NY Mayor Bill De Blasio called the bombings an act of terror, and new NYPD commissioner James P. O'Neill explained that "the investigation now focuses on motive and if there were others who helped the bomber." Buzzfeed is tracking the latest.

+ "Who in this world finds a pressure cooker with a phone and just takes the bag?" One clear lesson from this incident is that we need to change our immigration laws ... and let in more thieves. From DNA Info: "Thieves snatching bags from city streets and train stations inadvertently helped law enforcement get the upper hand."

+ When the suspect was identified, there was a notification sent to all the cell phones in the region.

+ And Trump. "I should be a newscaster because I called it before the news." (OK, deal.)

+ In Minnesota, a Mall stabbing spree ended when an off-duty police officer shot the assailant.



According to the latest numbers, "Americans own an estimated 265m guns, more than one gun for every American adult." But that stat implies that the hardware is evenly divided among citizens. It's not. It turns out that just three percent of Americans own half the guns. These "are America's gun super-owners -- an estimated 7.7 million Americans who own between eight and 140 guns."


When Cease Desists

The Syrian cease-fire appears to have collapsed. What caused the setback? This is Syria, so the answer to that is complicated.

+ Here's an NYT article that will probably be helpful for most of us (especially Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson): Straightforward Answers to Basic Questions About Syria's War.


Breaking the Source Code?

The Washington Post won a Pulitzer for its reporting on the NSA documents provided to them by Edward Snowden. But over the weekend, the newspaper penned an op-ed that insisted Snowden does not deserve a pardon. As you might expect, Glenn Greenwald has a take on that -- which can best be summed up by his article's title: WashPost Makes History: First Paper to Call for Prosecution of Its Own Source (After Accepting Pulitzer).


Hit ‘Em With the Hein

"We did it. We hit 'em with the Hein." That was how Jimmy Kimmel ended the 2016 Emmy Awards. It was an homage to his pal, Howard Stern. And it was also pretty accurate. As The Guardian reports: The Emmys broke more than one trend: this was an awards show that didn't suck. Here's a list of all the winners.

+ Hollywood Reporter: The 10 most memorable moments of the night. My fave was Mr. Robot's Rami Malek looked at his trophy and then said: "Please tell me you're seeing this, too."

+ Buzzfeed: Here are all the looks from the Emmys.

+ FiveThirtyEight: Julia Louis-Dreyfus is Unstoppable.

+ Most creative types will do anything to avoid "the suits" when they're trying to make great television. Unless the suit is being worn by FX CEO John Landgraf. Meet the Mayor of Television.


This is 50

The New Yorker's Evan Osnos with a very interesting look at what a Trump presidency might look like."After more than a year of candidate Trump, Americans are almost desensitized to each new failing exhumed from his past—the losing schemes and cheapskate cruelties, the discrimination and misogyny—much as they are to the daily indecencies of the present: the malice toward a grieving mother, the hidden tax records, the birther fiction and other lies. But where, in all that, is much talk of the future? By mid-September, Trump was in the final sprint of his campaign, having narrowed the gap behind Clinton in the popular vote from nine points, in August, to reach a virtual tie. His victory is no longer the stuff of dark comedy or fan fiction. It is fair to ask: What would he actually be like as a President?"

+ "We are 50 days away from the end of this election. That's only 3 more Valium prescriptions. Hang on." Here are a few thoughts from me on How to Survive Fifty More Days of Winning.


Tweetage Wasteland

"Just look around you -- at the people crouched over their phones as they walk the streets, or drive their cars, or walk their dogs, or play with their children. Observe yourself in line for coffee, or in a quick work break, or driving, or even just going to the bathroom. Visit an airport and see the sea of craned necks and dead eyes. We have gone from looking up and around to constantly looking down." Reporter, columnist and early adopter Andrew Sullivan on the endless bombardment of news and gossip and images that has rendered us manic information addicts: I Used to Be a Human Being. (I'm gonna have to take the fifth on this one, folks.)


The Ox Flow Incident

For years, lawmakers have been trying to strike a balance between the needs of those who suffer from pain, and the potentially deadly effects of opioid addiction. Over that same time period, "a coalition of drugmakers and industry-backed nonprofits blanketed Washington with messages about the importance of painkillers." Wait, you mean some pharmaceutical companies aren't putting the health of patients first?


Oil, That Is

"Although declining global oil consumption could be welcome news for the environment, it also has great potential to upend existing geopolitical relationships, foster instability in key regions, and present new geopolitical risks that are critical for policy makers to consider." The very smart Jason Bordoff with the less talked about side of declining oil demand.


Bottom of the News

Looking for office space and determined to pay the highest rents in America? Come on down to Sand Hill Road, where venture capital firms pay the highest rent in the US (and advise startups on fiscal decisions).

+ This year, Olive Garden put 21,000 Never Ending Pasta Passes up for sale. They sold out immediately. And now they're selling on eBay for $4500. (I've eaten through that much on a single visit to the Sizzler salad bar.)

+ Alistair Brownlee gives up chance to win triathlon and helps brother over line.

+ It's Monday. So you could probably use a video featuring trick ping pong shots right about now.